9 Big Marketing Trends That Will Dominate Digital In 2016

You need to focus on these key mar­ket­ing trends for a win­ning dig­i­tal strat­e­gy.

Mike Wong By Mike Wong from PicMonkey. Join the discussion » 0 comments

As you plan your mar­ket­ing strate­gies for the year ahead, here are some rec­om­men­da­tions that you need to know to suc­ceed in the dig­i­tal world.

With the pow­er of social media, the Mil­len­ni­al audi­ence and dig­i­tal econ­o­my, the mar­ket­ing indus­try will need to bol­ster its online pres­ence in 2016 to reach new lev­els of engage­ment.

We’ve already seen inno­v­a­tive cam­paigns that have shown the mil­len­ni­al impact on the dig­i­tal econ­o­my. For exam­ple, the World Wildlife Fund’s #Last­Selfie cam­paign lever­aged Snapchat to reach a broad­er audi­ence and raise aware­ness about endan­gered ani­mals – the images only last a few sec­onds, just like the lives of endan­gered ani­mals. The cam­paign proved the heavy influ­ence of the dig­i­tal econ­o­my on brand aware­ness.

Here are nine big- trends you’ll need to know to dom­i­nate in the 2016 dig­i­tal econ­o­my.

1. The Digital Economy Will Greatly Impact Marketing Strategies

Con­tent mar­ket­ing will evolve with the growth of the dig­i­tal econ­o­my. At the core, it’s all about build­ing trust by pro­vid­ing val­ue first and fore­most. That won’t change.

What will evolve is the need and the abil­i­ty for mar­keters to track their con­tent mar­ket­ing cam­paigns across mul­ti­ple chan­nels, such as web, email, mobile and social. If brands don’t con­tin­ue to make com­pelling con­tent, their cus­tomers will find some­one else who does.

2. Social Media Will Be Even More Pertinent for Millennials

Per­haps more than any oth­er gen­er­a­tion, mil­len­ni­als know right away if com­pa­nies are being authen­tic or if they are only try­ing to sell them some­thing.

Mil­len­ni­als rely heav­i­ly on social media so it’s vital to have a social strat­e­gy in order. Make a mis­take with this audi­ence and they’ll let all of their friends and extend­ed social net­works know imme­di­ate­ly.

Fur­ther, mil­len­ni­als are look­ing for brands that they iden­ti­fy with, so mar­keters need to be clear about val­ues and then stay true to them with every action. They’re pay­ing atten­tion.

3. Marketing Budgets Will Be Reshaped

The dig­i­tal econ­o­my will shape bud­gets in 2016 by allow­ing brands to have small­er inter­nal con­tent mar­ket­ing teams and work with sub­ject-mat­ter experts as free­lance con­trib­u­tors to con­tent mar­ket­ing cam­paigns.

With a clear­ly defined strat­e­gy, a strong man­ag­ing edi­tor, and abil­i­ty to man­age a group of free­lance writ­ers, com­pa­nies can be suc­cess­ful.

4. SEO and Content Marketing Will Be More Challenging

In 2016 the biggest chal­lenge is going to be get­ting your con­tent to stand out in an increas­ing­ly com­pet­i­tive and sat­u­rat­ed mar­ket. There is so much con­tent being cre­at­ed that com­pa­nies need to think of their customer’s needs first and fore­most.

It’s impor­tant to resist think­ing of imme­di­ate busi­ness needs and mak­ing self-cen­tered con­tent. By putting the cus­tomer first and solv­ing for their needs, con­tent will nat­u­ral­ly rank high­er and will more like­ly be shared and linked to there­by giv­ing a bet­ter chance of gain­ing greater vis­i­bil­i­ty in search results.

Here are more key SEO trends you need to know for 2016.

5. Marketers Will Become More Human

In order to reach new audi­ences and strength­en SEO in 2016, mar­keters need to be tech­ni­cal and author­i­ta­tive sub­ject mas­ters. To do this, they will need to take a more human approach to sto­ry­telling.

Mar­ket­ing is  no longer B2B or B2C – it’s Peo­ple-to-Peo­ple (P2P). The key is to cre­ate a sin­gle theme that res­onates with busi­ness needs, and pro­duce writ­ten con­tent with strong visu­als.

6. Data Will Further Drive Marketing

With an inte­grat­ed strat­e­gy, mar­keters will tie in trans­ac­tion­al data (e.g., ecom­merce), web­site vis­its (non-trans­ac­tion­al) and mobile app usage to per­son­al­ize the expe­ri­ence the serve up to users in 2016.

Mobile mar­ket­ing will con­tin­ue to gain trac­tion as mar­keters get a bet­ter han­dle on wran­gling this data and send­ing cus­tomized mobile mes­sages to their cus­tomers and prospects.

7. Campaigns Will Reach Several Audiences Across Multiple Channels

2016 will be the year when mar­keters real­ly start look­ing at how they incor­po­rate (and track) the mobile expe­ri­ence with their mar­ket­ing strate­gies. Fig­ur­ing out how to tie mobile app usage with usage in oth­er chan­nels such as social, email, site, and in-store will be crit­i­cal for future suc­cess.

With so much con­tent being pro­duced today, brands have to make sure that they put qual­i­ty above quan­ti­ty. Fur­ther, not all con­tent per­forms the same across all chan­nels, so mar­keters and brands have to make sure they are putting strate­gies in place that account for dis­trib­ut­ing and pro­mot­ing the right con­tent on the right chan­nels.

8. Brands Will Be More Serious About Mobile Marketing

Brands will need to get seri­ous about inte­grat­ing mobile into their life­cy­cle mar­ket­ing cam­paigns.

Rough­ly 90 per­cent of smart­phone users will accom­plish some sort of long-term goal (e.g. respond to an offer, engage with a brand’s mobile app, etc.), on their phone.

Brands need to make sure they not only have a mobile pres­ence, but to insert them­selves at the right moment and pro­vide infor­ma­tion or a ser­vice that the user finds valu­able.

9. Users Will Engage With Brands on Mobile

Addi­tion­al­ly, brands will focus more on onboard­ing their users via their mobile apps. Mobile usage is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down. Your brand needs to ele­vate its mobile app strat­e­gy.

Approx­i­mate­ly 40 per­cent of mobile app users will opt-in for mobile push noti­fi­ca­tions. As such, brands need to focus on mak­ing sure they pro­vide a com­pelling rea­son for a user to opt-in imme­di­ate­ly upon app launch, as most users aban­don an app with 30 sec­onds nev­er to return again. If they don’t get the onboard­ing process right, they’ve lost a big oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­nect with their cus­tomers.

Final­ly, con­ver­sions are an area with sig­nif­i­cant poten­tial. Even if a brand has a mobile app, they need to make sure that they have a strong, mobile-friend­ly web­site.

Most con­ver­sion flows have been opti­mized for browsers on a desk­top screen. As such, the shop­ping cart aban­don­ment rate on mobile is 90 per­cent, which is scary, but also a great place to look to make a dif­fer­ence in rev­enue in 2016.

The mar­ket­ing indus­try has expe­ri­enced con­sid­er­able changes in the last few years due to the heavy influ­ence of the dig­i­tal econ­o­my, and will only con­tin­ue to trans­form. The new year will require us to adapt to new tech­nolo­gies to effec­tive­ly share our cus­tomers’ sto­ries, as well as our own brand­ing sto­ry. As the indus­try con­tin­ues evolv­ing in the dig­i­tal age, mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als must cre­ate inno­v­a­tive cam­paigns to keep up!

Mike Wong

Written by Mike Wong

Director of Marketing, PicMonkey

Mike is the director for marketing at PicMonkey, a photo editing startup in Seattle. Mike has nearly 15 years of experience in the marketing industry, with previous stints at Lynda.com and onOne Software. His specialties are content marketing, cross-functional team leadership, inbound marketing, email marketing, brand management, web content and product marketing.

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